Saturday, December 5, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
birdhouse and sumac
Friday, October 9, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
In the meantime, the long-awaited rain has made the zinnias in the backyard very happy, which makes me very happy as well!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
We've brought home one of the Percy Jackson series (which my child has already read, but is enjoying hearing none the less) and have checked out Horrible Harry and Mr. Putter & Tabby Stories for his younger brother. So far they're a big hit.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
We are going to be covering Ancient History this year at both a 1st grade and 5th grade level, so I've been looking for picture books of myths and legends to compliment the history readings, and found some beautiful ones at our library. So far we've found:
- The Trojan Horse retold and illustrated by Warwick Hutton
- Hercules by Robert Burleigh illustrated by Raul Colon (we really like many of the books he's illustrated)
- King Midas and the Golden Touch as told by Charlotte Craft illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft (this book is gorgeous!)
- King Midas The Golden Touch by Demi
- Persephone written by Pomme Clayton and illustrated by Virginia Lee (eerily beautiful cover)
- There's a Monster in the Alphabet by James Rumford (a different kind of alphabet book)
- and our own copy of the classic D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths.
I've just added a sidebar entitled "Favorite Books for Youngish Boys". These are books that I think are really wonderful for a younger, male independent reader. I wanted to clarify that I'm not suggesting that these books are exclusively appropriate for boys, or that they do not work well as read alouds for younger children or might not capture an older reader. I just know that these were very popular around here with my child when he first came in to his own as a reader, around the age of 7 or 8.
At the time, I searched for books that were well written, appealing to a young boy, and would be challenging but not so hard as to be discouraging. Recommended by a very wise homeschooling mom I know, the Dick King-Smith books were a great transition to chapter books for my son. And while I was initially hesitant about graphic novels (or comic books as we used to call them), my sons have loved Tintin and the Asterix series, and I'm very comfortable with the content.
Since I've got another boy coming up on this age, I want to remember our favorites and I hope to continue adding to the list.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I had decided that we would do a "soft" start to school this week, just kicking off the new school year with some field trips. We found the first week of public school perfect for this. It's too early for the schools to start field trips, so the museums were quiet and empty. Our first museum was a little too empty. The main gallery area was closed for another week as they set up for a new exhibit. It worked out great though, in that they got to see a copy of the Gutenberg bible and the first photograph in the lobby, here. It was probably just the right length of time for them.
We hit a home run on our second day. One of my children had gone briefly to our local Texas Military Forces Museum at Camp Mabry with his camp group this summer. When I mentioned that we'd spend a week trying to go to museums, this was his one request. It would have never made it on my radar, but I can now recommend it heartily. Thanks to the great docents, who obviously are well-versed and passionate about military history, the boys heard a lot about different battles ranging from the fight for Texas independence to World War II. Even though the museum is undergoing renovations, the docents, dioramas, and memorabilia make it well worth the trip. The boys especially liked the section where you could try on gear:
They can't wait to go back with their PawPaw, and their Poppy, who loves a good diorama. And I can go to the art museum while they're busy with the guns and battles.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
What with the heat, I've been boycotting the kitchen for the most part all summer. I know I should just stick with menus of salad, yogurt and fruit, and anything that can be made without creating heat. It's daunting to turn on the oven in this kind of weather.
But last night I couldn't help myself. I had tried a couple of recipes for sweet potato biscuits last week when we had company over. Both recipes were very tasty, and I found myself with leftover sweet potatoes, and a craving for biscuits. I followed this recipe except I used buttermilk. They did not get big and fluffy, but they are delicious. Sometimes, even in the heat of summer, you just have to bake, in order to have things like fresh biscuits and chocolate chip cookies.
I love to bake, so now I'm just waiting for cooler weather, say in the lower 90s, to really get going. I can't wait for fall.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
We woke to cool temperatures and beautiful mountain scenes.
We were so glad to take the trip, and had a great time. And now, the nice thing is, we're glad to be home.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
So, it was refreshing this afternoon to see the boys engaged in something non-electronic, and playing with toys that they haven't touched in a while.
Gotta love Playmobil meets Lincoln Logs.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
But in the meantime, we are lucky enough to have an amazing CSA farm not 1/4 mile from our house. That's right, we live in a brand-new suburban subdivision and there's an organic farm a 1/4 mile from my house. If I walk up to higher ground in our neighborhood I can even see it. And on top of it all, the farmers are great people! http://greengatefarms.net/
And so even without my own garden, I get to have beautiful summer meals like this:
Happy summer dining, local style...
Friday, June 19, 2009
boys on dock, just lookin'
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Our move to the "big city" and to the constraints of suburbia has brought many blessings, but I don't count the small backyard and strict neighborhood rules among them. We have (I think) been dutifully following the rules, and our front yard looks very proper and much like our neighbors. I'm feeling the need to bust out in the backyard a little, though. While the front landscaping pretty much fits with the traditional brick style of our house, in the back it has been time to throw in some color.
For now, the most impact we've made has involved paint, in small doses.
I'm hoping we continue, and that riotous color of the plant variety comes along also. I hope our neighbors won't mind!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
It may actually be a weed, but I'm not sure I care...
Saturday, June 6, 2009
- had poison ivy/oak
- seen just-hatched baby swallows on our front porch
- been to the local municipal waterpark
- gotten sunburned
- seen the first bloom of the morning glory vine.
I think we're off to a great start!